MP3 History Of Guns - Flashes Of Light LP
A genre blending mix of electro-art-rock,, ambient dance, and electro/noise-industrial, the vocals, a blend of Ian Curtis and Bowie inflections, speaks, whispers, sings, and leads the way over slightly chaotic landscapes of shuffling electronic dance perc
8 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Industrial, ELECTRONIC: Ambient
review of Flashes Of Light LP taken from: Hard Wired
Given HOG''s steady improvement in their musical skills over the past year or so, I have been looking forward to this release.
And now it''s here, what does it give us?
Well, before I go on, I want you to be up to speed with the HOG sound – it''s like nothing else that''s out there right now. It''s not electronic, it''s not traditional Goth, and it''s not Industrial. But what we have here, is a mixture and fusion of all these styles, and with a bit of Punk thrown in too, not to mention some heartfelt depression. ''Post Industrial Goth'' is the label that best sums it up!
Given the tracks on this album, I feel safe in saying that you’d be hard pressed to find these filling a dance floor at your local club – this album is for pure self indulgence only.
The overall theme is a depressing one – talk of genocide, disease and depression are rampant here – the male vocal monologue over the music is talking to ''you'' all the time, making this a very personal listening experience.
But it works so well – the vocals over the samples and loops never get boring. It''s like listening to some bloke down the pub, telling you his thoughts and views on a world gone mad. Compelling listening! Maybe mix into this a semi theatrical presentation, and you''ve pretty much got the idea.
What strikes me about HOG, and this album in particular, is that it is truly ''alternative'' – I can think of no others that sound like this band (maybe I''ve missed someone out, but I don''t think so.), and that''s what makes this album so damn special.
Okay, back to the music. A strange format here, as the album opens with two 10 minute long tracks (''Flashes of Light'' parts 1 and 2). Each of these tracks changes pace and tempo throughout, leading to mild disappointment when they’re over. We''re then given 4 ''normal'' length tracks, and then it''s back to ''Flashes of Light'' part 3 and part 4 – each one 9 minutes long.
Not sure what the reasoning was behind these, but it works well, making the 54 minutes running time of the album fly by – you really do get dragged into it.
I''m sure HOG will not be to everyone''s taste, and some may question the 4/4 score we’re giving this album, but it is truly ''alternative'', and well put together. Thought provoking, catchy (the excellent track ''Learning Curve'' testament to this!) and depressing all in one. What more could you want. We like this!
4/4 Keith Elcombe
review of Flashes Of Light LP taken from: Sonic Curiosity
This CD from 2004 outraged goth rock.
History of Guns is: Del Alien and Max Rael.
Growling keyboards and scuttling electronics conspire to achieve an ominous soundscape of aggressive portent. Agile E-perc pitter and thunder throughout, punctuating the dark flow with catchy rhythms. Traditional drums and acoustic bongos contribute to these tempos, delineating a blurring nest of beats that is as relentless as it is angry. The electronics are angry too, hissing with breathy sighs and crackling with dangerous textures.
This music excellently conveys a brittle discontent, but where most goth rock concerns itself with emotional ennui, these songs address social oppression. Where''s the victory in eternal love if you can''t pay the rent, or the bus is always late, or you starve on a diet of nutritionally-deficient burgers? Life is far too short to waste it struggling to maintain an unacceptable status quo.
The vocals are gruff with masculinity, lamenting the downfall of cultural freedom and condemning the rise of corporate greed. These sentiments are timeless, but so are the inequities forced upon the public by the mortal powers-that-be. The difference is that History of Guns seeks to reassure you that your plight does not go unnoticed, that your dissatisfaction is universal, that there is a cure that lies within each person.
review of Flashes Of Light LP taken from: Mick Mercer
HISTORY OF GUNS
FLASHES OF LIGHT
The accompanying press release does its best to put us at our ease:
Before you review our CD please consider the following facts.
1) In one hundred years everyone you know will be dead
2) No-one really loves you and you will die alone
3) Everything is f**** up. You know it and we know it.
Into this hideous world is born Flashes Of Light, eight songs to look after you because face it, no other c**t will.”
And before you get thinking they should be in politics, you’re already in their hands, with the double header Flashes Pt 1 and 2 doing what the vast – and we’re talking corpulent percentages - majority do in Industrial circles. They have plenty of noises whirling but these are melodically placed to set out the story our garbled host will provide. The noises hang together constructively, creating as much mystery as menace, loitering behind the distinctively glazed vocal drawl. The rhythm snakes forward as lines of dialogue are spat out. Trip-hop beats are produced and used with military precision, with a beautiful synth providing relief. It’s like following them through a cave with your walkman turned down low as the grenades casually spill from their pockets.
They’ll always set up a spry rhythm, and even the weirder vocals have a sing-song lilt. The songs will slow and fracture before starting again, which most bands do, but here their shuffle beat is so superb you take these as gaps not irritation. It’s never ugly, and never too weird, even when the sleepy piano mixes with the epigrammatic vocals.
That’s twenty minutes of music before you hit ‘Going Hollow’, where the vocals sound shaky, because that’s his style and he uses them incisively, even when the music sounds like a religious cult might like it. ‘Pattern Death’ is a simple hammer beat and speed rhythm, while the vocals lurch all over you. Think Pop Group, think Pil, then update your mental PC. Their spleen there is vented through a funnelled composition, but after that they slow down with ‘Blown’, almost a murky ballad by their way of thinking.
‘Learning Curve’ is slurred and battered and up to no good, but has an inviting quality. (This is what you want as you wander about town.) It’s semi-abstract, with these lyrical points obviously meaning something but requiring time to push into a semblance of order. They’re not being profound, just mirroring their own desire to make sense of the insensible world; that return ticket to Hell burning a hole in their pockets. And they’re f***ing funny too. ‘Flashes Pt 3’ should raise a smile as he mumbles on, and the rhythm buffets you saucily.
‘Thunder In The Airwaves’ isn’t a Toyah tribute, just a wavering piano–led traipse across some of their more prettier, sinuous sounds, and the album ends with you thinking you’ve been on a journey, blindfold. They even have their flash of realisation at the end, which they naturally won’t share.
The reason that anyone imaginative or sussed enough musically should want this record is that they are, by far, the most inventive UK band to have got their hands caught in the Industrial threshing machine. They never do the obvious and the worldview makes sense, in setting scenes like shadowy directors and treating us as players. They also admit to making sense in the Goth world, because of the thoughts flying around in their work. It’s obvious what they’re against, and the sounds fit this worldview with thorny elements, but by holding off on harsher implements they create something you want to keep picking at, to peel away the layers, which is probably half the point, and half the attraction.
They gonna f*** with you long time.
FLASHES OF LIGHT PT 1
FLASHES OF LIGHT PT2
FLASHES OF LIGHT PT 3
THUNDER IN THE AIRWAVES
FLASHES OF LIGHT PT 4
BUY the album.
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